Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan in Time: ‘Your fight is our fight’

Though the 228 Incident took place entirely in Taiwan, the Chinese Communist Party has, for the past 71 years, claimed the uprising as part of its “liberation struggle” against a perceived common enemy: the Chinese Nationalist Party

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

A 1951 portrait of Mao Zedong, along with the date “2.28,” is pictured at a Chinese Communist Party event in Beijing to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 228 Incident.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

March 5 to March 11

From “Taiwan’s self-rule movement” in 1947 to last year’s “part of the Chinese people’s liberation struggle,” the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long propagated its own interpretation of the 228 Incident.

Even though the CCP was not involved in the anti-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) uprising and subsequent government crackdown that took place across Taiwan on Feb. 28, 1947, it still commemorated the incident during its 70th anniversary last year.

In fact, ever since the incident broke out, the CCP has used it in their propaganda since it painted their mortal enemy, KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), as a brutal dictator and mass murderer.

“The brutality of Chiang Kai-shek’s rule of Taiwan has exceeded that of Japanese imperialism … It’s clear that Chiang’s intention is to drown Taiwan’s self-rule movement in blood,” the communist-controlled The Liberation Daily (解放日報) printed on March 20, 1947

A COMMON ENEMY

As soon as the CCP caught wind of the events in Taiwan, the newspaper printed the news on March 7 with the headline, “The anti-Chiang movement in Taiwan has spread across the entire island, whose people want to establish an autonomous government.”

The next day, the CCP leaders issued a statement voicing their support for “Taiwan’s self-rule movement,” elaborating their position two weeks later in the Liberation Daily.

“Take just a brief look at Taiwan’s history after the war and it will be apparent that this self-rule movement was rational, legal and peaceful. It became an armed revolt because Chiang Kai-shek left them with no choice … Those Chinese feudal fascists have mercilessly plundered from the Taiwanese, leaving them not even a chance of survival … What Taiwanese want is simple, they just want to abolish government monopolies and for Taiwanese to be able to serve in the government of Taiwan.”

The article listed the civilian death toll on Feb. 28 as “at least 3,000 or 4,000,” comparing Taiwan to the Communist-controlled areas who also had to fight the KMT for “self-rule.”

“Your fight is our fight, your victory is our victory,” it stated. “Both military and civilians of the liberated areas will support you with our own battles.”

The statement concluded with a suggested battle plan to defeat Chiang.

“First of all, do not compromise. The armed revolt has already started, and if you compromise or surrender, Taiwanese compatriots will suffer the most savage bloodbath at the hands of Chiang,” it began.

The first step would be to establish governing and military bodies. Then the new government should satisfy people’s economic needs so as to minimize internal dissent. A strong leader should be elected, and agents sent across Taiwan to work with peasants and formally organize them into military units to fight against the government. The areas out of government reach should be converted into bases to support the war long term.

The CCP leaders were confident that Taiwanese would win the fight, stating that the KMT was already suffering from troop shortages in the Chinese Civil War and would not have many resources to devote to Taiwan.

“If we win a few more battles in China, that will deplete Chiang’s forces even further, and eventually he’ll loosen the pressure on Taiwan. Therefore, the movement in Taiwan will surely end in victory. The Chinese Communist Party praises the bravery of our Taiwanese compatriots, and congratulates you in advance to a glorious victory.”

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